CLC Wins Victory for Late-Jailed Voters in Ohio

Issues
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Handcuffs, a gavel and an American flag on a background of white wooden boards

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and partners filed a lawsuit in 2018 on behalf of all late-jailed voters in Ohio seeking access to the ballot and the ability to exercise their right to vote. This resulted in CLC’s clients being allowed to vote in the 2018 midterm elections, but CLC still worked to ensure that the state’s practice would no longer be used in future elections. CLC did this because a person’s ability to cast a ballot should not be determined by the date of their arrest or their ability to pay bail.

In a decision that came down from federal court on Nov. 6, 2019, a judge ordered Ohio to discontinue its practice of disenfranchising eligible voters arrested and held in pre-trial detention in the final days preceding an election. CLC and partner groups successfully demonstrated that Ohio’s system was denying eligible voters their First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

Eligible voters who are arrested and detained pre-trial by the state in the days leading up to an election deserve equal protection from the U.S. Constitution. As a result of CLC’s case, Mays v. LaRose, voters in Ohio have been given that protection.